ODE TO A BAD BACK

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by Joe Buonfiglio

I’ll do my best not to let you see

     How badly my back has been hurting me.

The US Army can be all they can be.

     But my back hurts so bad, I can’t get up to pee.

From this horrible pain, will I ever be free?

     I’d kill for a Doc Feelgood’s script for Oxy.

Doing so much Ibuprofen that Satan laughs with glee.

     So I’ll get through another night with cigars and whiskey.

 

Lots and lots and lots of whiskey.

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DISCLAIMER: Joe Buonfiglio accepts no responsibility for the quality of his poetry while in the midst of excruciating back pain … or at any other time. 

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved
All photos are © 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

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MY BIG BIRTHDAY BLOW-OFF BLOG?

…sort of

 Birthday Blues kid

by Joe Buonfiglio

I am one of those folks who simply does not take his birthday well. There’ll be none of that accepting of the passage of time with style and grace bullshit going on here. As The Black Wave of depression rushes over me to swamp the ship of my existence, I usually crawl into a bottle of Irish whiskey the night before and stay there for about 48 hours in a desperate attempt to avoid all those with a cheerful “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” gleefully waiting to burst over their lips.

Thoughtless pricks.

So whenever my birthday happens to fall on my blog-post day as it does this year, I use it as an excuse to enable the more indolent side of my nature and hang a “Gone Fishing” sign out on that edition of Potpourri of the Damned.

This was supposed to be one of THOSE birthday blog blow-off days.

However, as I slogged through the inky pages of the local newspaper having stopped on the obituary page as — for some unknown reason other than possibly the excessive fear surrounding the realization of my own mortality — has now evolved into yet one more obsessive indulgence as I get older, my teenage son took a moment to divert his eyes from his phone’s touchscreen to take notice of this.

“Jesus, Dad,” he uttered with the confusion of a deer in the headlights of a semi barreling down on it on a hot summer night, “the newspaper? The obits? How the hell old are you anyway?”

Little bastard.

Yes, he’s six-foot three, but he’s still a little bastard for saying that … and on my birthday, too.

How could I let such an insensitive interruption of my monumental display of lethargy go without the proper documentation for posterity?  I can’t … which is why you’re left reading this inane bit of self-indulgent drivel at this very moment.

Oh well. Depression’s ugly face is at my back psychically willing me to return beneath the sheets I arose from just a scant few hours ago. Besides, this bottle of Jameson isn’t gonna drink itself, now is it? So happy birthday to me … and to all a good night.

Joe out.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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“Donny, Donny, Donny!” Revisited…

Donny Revisited Art

by Joe Buonfiglio

 WHAT?! You say you’re not a fan of 2016 presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and you STILL have not heard the song Donny, Donny, Donny! by Unintentional Martyrs™?

While I forgive you your ignorance of this tune in light of the fact that Trump running for president should only exist in a Bizarro World alternative universe, I still must protest on some level and offer up to you a resounding WTF!

No seriously, what the fuck—er, I mean WTF?

Well, my good but wayward soul, languish no more in your wretched state of anti-Trumpian woe, and enjoy….

 

Want to know what those lyrics say? You’re in luck! Here’s the version with the lyrics included.

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© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

All videos, music, lyrics and graphics are © 2016 Unintentional Martyrs™ with All Rights Reserved.

Goodbye, Faulkner. Hello, MechaBetty.

(Please Don’t Sue Me.)

Faulkner vs MechaBetty - USE

by Joe Buonfiglio

Right up front, I need to warn you that you should probably read this as quickly as possible. I’m using the MechaBetty artwork without permission, so this blog will probably be pulled off the server any minute now as the MechaBetty creators get the copyright-infringement lawsuit underway.

Goddamn intellectual-property rights!

And William Faulkner?

He’s dead, so fuck him.

Now, on with the show….

So last night (in relation to the time of this writing), I was in the studio of a local radio station to celebrate the successful conclusion of season one of MechaBetty during the broadcast of the weekly arts and literature program, The Blotter ‘Zine show, the radio progeny of The Blotter magazine. Along with a bounty of food and drink, the MechaBetty creators where there for a marathon of the show, as well as the radio-program’s hosts, the magazine-sponsors, a couple of musicians who seemed a bit confused as to why they were there and me, who was DEFINITELY confused as to why I was there.

I did bring cake, in case you were wondering.

Hey, funeral receptions and radio shows; you always bring cake. It’s just the right thing to do.

Anyway, MechaBetty is this delightfully absurd sci-fi web-based program that is completely modern, but performed and produced in a manner that simulates an old-fashioned radio-serial format; taken from any angle, it’s just fabulously creative.

And that’s the problem.

It’s passion-project shows such as this produced by “young Turks” with a clear vision and on an artistic mission that will create product that today’s instant-gratification generation will use to supplant the literary giants of old.

TRANSLATION: Goodbye, Faulkner. Hello, MechaBetty.

Now you have to understand; earlier that day I was having some fresh-brewed cups o’ Joe at my favorite coffeehouse with the editor of the aforementioned arts and lit mag (and co-host of the radio-show version) when he somewhat aggressively lamented the demise of the likes of Faulkner and Hemmingway and Wolfe and Sandburg at the hands of a generation unable to engage in face-to-face communication. And while we both agreed that this new breed of human instead opts to maneuver two thumbs across a virtual keyboard than do anything resembling conversing, we disagreed as to the implications this holds for Humanity overall.  It is a generation that replaces courtship and romanticism with texting selfies of their genitalia to one another. He saw it as a bad thing. I just see it as the next phase for the air-breathing descendants of Bonzo past his bedtime.

Trying to recognize that just because the newest inductees into Club Big-Boy Pants communicate through the latest digital tools and not through pen-and-paper rotary-phone communications or, God forbid, in a manner requiring actual eye-contact, does not mean how they see the world is of any less value or validity than our years-enhanced view of Gaia’s House of Horrors. It is simply the next stage of evolution. We dinosaurs — and yes, the metaphoric fossilized remains of Faulkner and his ilk — must step aside to make way for the MechaBetty generation.

Our time is over. It is their time to rise.

At least that’s what I thought at the moment.

And then, there in the radio studio, as the humans who would replace me and the other dino-folk in the room explained to us how one can have sex with the fictionalized two-ton mechanized lead in their little marvel of audio theatre, wondered how to artistically introduce a space-lesbian character without coming off as clichéd, and then repeatedly interrupted themselves in midsentence to catch a Pokémon Go creature that stumbled into the studio and onto the touchscreen of their phone, I could feel a tiny teardrop beginning to form in the corner of my eye.

I turned to the editor-host with whom I shared some java that morning as he sat in the dark recesses of the radio studio. Though I was barely able to discern the expression on his face, I saw enough to decipher its not-so subtle message:

TOLD YOU, DIPSHIT!

Sorry, Mr. Faulkner. Humanity is unquestionably doomed.

Sigh.

I guess it’s time for this relic of another era to lumber off the stage. Life is a young person’s game. However, I’m strangely okay with that.

Why?

Perhaps the great master said it best:

“I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are.” ― William Faulkner

 

LINKS-LINKS-LINKS:

Interested in the MechaBetty program? It can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUBgsbNvvB9GI3db-h_Ay7A

The Blotter literature and arts magazine is available at http://www.blotterrag.com/

The Blotter ‘Zine radio show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on WCOM out of Carrboro, NC. You can listen online at http://www.wcomfm.org/

Where can you find the works of William Faulkner? It’s called a public library, my friend; use it! No, I didn’t say “Google it.” EBook, my ass. You need to hold processed dead trees in your hand in order to properly read and appreciate Faulkner, dammit!

And me? Besides finding me here at JoeBuonfiglio.com (AKA LiteraryAbsurdist.com), you can join me on Twitter at @JoeBuonfiglio or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PotpourrioftheDamned/ You can also check out my newly minted YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2R89yhf-afJB6R89D9HqxQ

And so, “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”
― William Faulkner, Mosquitoes

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

Listen to This: THE MOON’S CORE IS MADE OF URINE!

(NOT CHEESE)

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by Joe Buonfiglio

Listening. I admit it is a lost art form in our modern world. However, I resent any insinuation that I may have fallen prey to a malady within this component of interpersonal communication.

This week I had two contemptible charges levied against me that I consider unfair, unwarranted and unsubstantiated (and I’m not even a political candidate)! This person that I used to consider my friend claimed that I was not only prone to overreaction, but a “bad listener.”

An overreactive person? Moi?

What a steaming pile of horseshit! They can take their half-baked opinions and shove ’em up whatever orifice into which they LEAST fit. I’ve never overreacted to anything in my life. Mister Calm, Cool and Collected, that’s who I am.

Asshole.

As to the charge of being a bad listener, that’s just so erroneous as to almost be laughable. To contest this atrocious allegation, I’ll demonstrate the insidious nature of this cruel contention. So here’s something my science-centric son told me this morning that had me run out and tell my stockbroker to sell all my stock in Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation.

And that reminds me; my financial advisor tried to tell me that I don’t own any stock in SpaceX, so I read her the riot act. But when she mouthed off with some bullshit about me not being able to own SpaceX stock, because the company isn’t publically traded yet, I fired her ass on the spot!

The balls on this woman.

Can you imagine the nerve of her trying to tell me what stock is and isn’t in my own portfolio? What kind of dumbass does she think I am? I watched CNBC business news while I was having my daily grilled cheese and a cold one for lunch today. I’m no financial illiterate.

Who needs her? I’m supposed to be all impressed by her Wharton advanced degrees and her decades of experience? Fuck that!

Sanctimonious bitch.

I’m better off handling my own investments. I’ll put my online animal-husbandry degree up against her hoity-toity MBA any day of the week. I’ll shove that framed piece of self-aggrandizing paper testament to her own ineptitude so far up her—

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Those fallacious assertions of overreacting and bad listening.

So, my someday astronautical-engineer progeny casually says to me that the core of Earth’s moon is mostly comprised of urine.

URINE!

Holy shit! Can you believe that?!

What the hell was NASA all atwitter about in the Sixties and Seventies? It was bad enough when we thought the moon might yield some sort of bounty for we cheese lovers here on Gaia’s own terra firma; but why the space-race to reach what apparently can just as easily be obtained at a Port Authority Bus Terminal bathroom at three in the morning and without risking lives and going billions of dollars into debt to do it?

Well, at least without going into debt. It is the Port Authority Bus Terminal at three in the morning after all.

Anyway, I DON’T GET ALL THE HULLABALOO!

Apparently, our moon “boasts” a urine core deep inside of its interior, which is then surrounded by a softer, somewhat molten urine outer core that may extend as far out as 310 miles (500 km).

Sweet Jesus, that’s disgusting! And now we’re supposed to fork over billions more in taxpayer dollars to the NASA nerds so that these extravagant maniacs can go on a mission to Mars?

Why? Is there some sort of alien feces factory there we desperately need to tap into?

It’s not bad enough we go to the moon to plant the American flag in search of la luna’s rich urine stores, now we’re supposed to greenlight these idio—

What do you mean iron?

Iron core?

Not urine?

Iron.

Don’t look at me like that! Maybe you all need to learn to enunciate better!

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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A NEW AGE OF DOUBLING DOWN

 (AKA Betting Against the House)

Joker in the deck

by Joe Buonfiglio

YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS BLOG!  SO SCREW YOU, I’M NOT WRITING ONE THIS WEEK!

Now before you have a knee-jerk reaction leading to your writing in the response-comment section something intimating that I should have unprotected sex with a member of a reptilian species, and then promptly “unfollowing” whilst vowing to bop me in the head with a rock sending me plummeting down the mountainside to my death a la Lord of the Flies without so much as a “poor Piggy” being muttered under your breath in fleeting remorse; let me explain.

After your initial “Go fuck yourself!” rejoinder to my original declaration in this post, you may have noticed the contradictory nature of my opening statement — my opening salvo, really — in that I started off my writing this week’s blog-post by announcing, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be writing a blog-post this week.

Now, if instead of stopping to calm the waters of audience opinion with an explanation or some form of mea culpa, I had simply continued to blog about how I would not be blogging even more vehemently than ever, that would be “doubling down.”

“Completely absurd!” you say. “The approach of an immature child.”

I couldn’t agree more … if it were any other time in politics.

However, as led by the example of a certain US presidential candidate at the time of this writing, we seem to have entered what I see as A NEW AGE OF DOUBLING DOWN.

If we are to follow the lead of such narcissistic fame-whores, not only should we never, EVER admit to even the smallest of mistakes; we should hammer you so badly about being so wrong at pointing out even our most blatant errors screaming “Unfair treatment!” until a throng of followers wants to run YOU out on a rail for having the elitist journalistic gall to bring it to light in the first place.

This approach used to make me furious as I saw it as evidence of the conspiratorial and purposeful dismantling of our education system in order to create an electorate of angry dumbasses that can be easily manipulated even within the confines of a free press and a democratic society. However, remembering the wisdom of the great huckster P. T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

So by God, you’d be nuts not to take advantage of the willfully dimwitted.

Now on my newfound quest to “join ’em” who double down in order to gain the upper hand, I, too, have entered the metaphoric temple of Narcissus.

You say it’s absurd that I wrote a blog-post this week stating that I will not be writing a blog-post this week. I simply respond, “I never wrote that.”

“But, it’s online,” you reply with that delightful expression of confusion on your face. “It has a ‘by Joe Buonfiglio’ byline. Now you say you didn’t write it?”

“I never said that. I never said that. You people say this stuff. I don’t know where you get it from.”

And should you accuse me of road rage or shooting my neighbor over his dog pooping on my lawn for the millionth time….

“I was not at all angry. And I don’t even own a car, let alone a gun.”

“But Joe,” you say, “your banged up car is in your driveway and your literally smoking gun is on the front seat.”

“I never did that. You’re really, really unfair to Joe Buonfiglio; I don’t know why. Somebody’s really doing some really bad fact-checking on your team.”

Or, perhaps I’ll shift the adverse focus to you by using the name-calling bully’s technique of negative labelling.

“Dad,” my disappointed progeny proclaims, “You ate all the ice cream again!”

“There he goes again, my lying son. He’s such a lyin’ son, isn’t he folks?”

“The ice cream was full before you entered the kitchen,” says my annoyed wife, “and now it’s empty.”

“There she goes, the crooked wife taking the lying son’s side. Crooked wife crooked wife crooked wife!”

She looks at me with a scowl, before uttering, “But you still have melted chocolate ice cream on your mustache.”

“No I don’t!”

“You took a selfie of it all smeared on your face and posted it online saying how delicious it was.”

“Where do you get this stuff? I don’t even like chocolate.”

“Chocolate has been your favorite since we were dating!”

“Vanilla has always been my favorite, crooked wifey.”

“We had to change our wedding cake from Italian rum cake to a chocolate cake, because you’re such a chocolate nut!”

“No we didn’t, crooked wife. Are you bleeding down there or something?”

I’m not going to be able to insult my way into the power position, you say? Just watch me, stupid reader.

Hey, I know what you’re thinking: This goes against the way it has always been done. It’s a big middle finger in the face of the power structure. It’s betting against the house, so to speak.

Betting against the house — be it in blackjack, politics or life — eventually goes against you, doesn’t it? What seems as if a winning streak goes sour if you don’t know when to abandon that strategy, if you stay in that game too long, no? Should I take pause in that I have lost damn near every time I have doubled down in a casino?

Not true, stupid reader. I ALWAYS win big.

HUGE!

Then again, maybe I should be content to simply remain the joker in the deck. Pretending to be a king comes at a price.

Certain of us on the national stage would do well to remember that.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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THE THINGS I WISH I DID MORE OF IN MY LIFE

A TOP FIVE LISTmartinis

by Joe Buonfiglio

Guilt. Shame. Regrets. Ice cream brain-freeze. These are all things we have felt as individuals and as a collective society en masse. Most would concede that they tend to do us more harm than good. As for guilt, shame and brain freeze, I can offer no redeeming quality or value whatsoever in these. However, I believe that if we can publicly expose the source of our consternation that leads to regret in our lives, there is always a chance that we can defeat this monster emotion before that trip down the mortal coil reaches the finish line and it is too late.

Therefore, with this in mind, I give you…

THE TOP FIVE THINGS I REGRET NOT HAVING DONE MORE OF IN MY LIFE

#5 — JELL-O SHOTS

Come on, admit it; Jell-O shots feel great sliding down the back of your throat. It’s as if an oyster laced with happy-time juice that can make you the life of the party. They’re silly and serious at the same time; how many opportunities in your life do you get to experience such a confusingly wonderful sensation as that?

Besides, what other activities can you engage in that are not only fun, but may potentially lead to a “false positive” that you are bleeding out of your ass?

#4 — GAZPACHO

Sure, this cold Spanish soup is a delicious summertime treat, but the real reason I wish I had consumed more of it in my life is that it looks as if an alien creature from Star Trek (the original, not Next Generation).

Okay, it’s possibly more akin to a comparably weird encounter from the show of which must not be mentioned by name (AKA Voyager); definitely not DS9 though. You might be able to talk me into a thing from Enterprise with Scott Bakula, but only if you can work through the issues with the more primitive technological nature of this prequel’s—

I’m sorry, what was I talking about?

Regretting not eating enough cold soup?

That makes no sense. Who the hell likes cold soup?

#3 — KILLING SPIDERS

Yes, I wish I had terminated the lives of more spiders. Oh, please. Don’t give me that “All God’s creatures are beautiful!” bullshit. That fuckin’ pig should have ripped that bitch Charlotte down from that nasty web and stomped her good and you know it. Put on your muddy hiking boots for the first time after they’ve been sitting out in the garage for a few weeks, and then tell me how you still want to defend those ghastly arachnids after your big toe encounters the sleeping black widow that has taken up residence there.

Spiders.

I hate spiders.

#2 — MARTINI CONSUMPTION

God, I do wish I had put back more vodka martinis in my youth. No, I don’t have 007 delusions; I’m more the Bond villain type than an agent with MI6. However, unfortunately, during the swilling-beer period that is the hallmark of one’s youth, martinis aren’t even a consideration. It’s not until you reach a certain age — and a level of steady employment — that one feels compelled to sample from more sophisticated wells.

Fuck it. Give me a Pabst, bartender.

No, NOT a goddamn PBR, you prissy sumbitch!

And now, drumroll please…

#1 — MORE IMPULSIVE ACTS

You thought I was going to say “more sex,” didn’t you? I’m a guy, so sex has to be the numero uno on my list, right? Sorry, but I don’t want to be that damn predictable … and that’s my point.

I wish I had done more “on the fly,” “out of the blue,” completely unplanned and spontaneous acts as if on some sort of hair-trigger impulse drive. No, it didn’t have to be on the level of stripping down and running naked through Disneyland with an Ariel sock puppet strategically placed over my willy. However, it should be out of character for me; more impromptu.

I remember one time I was visiting Washington, DC, with my wife. We were taking in all the wonderful historic sites and landmarks, and having just a grand old time. As a writer, however, nothing thrilled me more than the prospect of my inaugural visit to the Library of Congress. The brochure showed a stairway ascending through that magnificent building to an observation deck where you can look down upon the library and enjoy the— CLOSED!

The damn stairway to the public viewing area was closed; roped off.

No signage offering a reason why was provided. Be it for repairs, security concerns, whatever; the public was not allowed to view the library that day.

Unacceptable.

Un-fucking-acceptable!

Quickly checking to make sure the LOC cops were otherwise occupied, to my wife’s horror, I skirted around the stanchion ropes, darted up the stairs and dove into the observation-deck room.

To say this was “not like me” is an understatement. And while it may seem as if a minor accomplishment to you; to me it was one of the most satisfying, exhilarating moments of my life.

All I’m saying is that I wish I had done more of that kind of thing over the years.

By the way, had I included it, #6 would have probably involved tapioca pudding and a life-size model of the Hindenburg.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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